Australia's most dangerous venomous creature is not a snake or a spider, nor even a jellyfish.
It's the bee and other stinging insects that pose the biggest public health threat, according to an analysis of more than a decade of Australian bites and stings.
The University of Melbourne study, published in the Internal Medicine Journal on Tuesday, found that it was bees and other insects such as wasps that often had the most dangerous effect on a person once bitten or stung.
The analysis of 13 years' data found that, including fatalities, venomous stings and bites resulted in almost 42,000 hospitalisations.
Bees and wasps were responsible for 33 per cent of those hospital admissions, followed by spider bites (30 per cent) and then snake bites (15 per cent).
Overall, 64 people were killed, with more than half of these deaths due to an allergic reaction to an insect bite that caused anaphylactic shock.
The study found that snake bites resulted in 27 deaths.
Between them bees and wasps killed another 27 people.
According to the analysis, tick bites caused three deaths and ant bites resulted in an additional two deaths.
The box jellyfish killed three people.
Two people died from an unknown insect bite and no spider bite fatalities were registered.
The report's author Dr Ronelle Welton said she was shocked to discover so many deaths along populated coastal areas of Australia where healthcare is accessible.
She thinks that one of the reasons that anaphylaxis from insect bites was deadly could be because people are complacent in a way they are not with creatures such as snakes.
While three-quarters of people who died from snakebites made it to hospital, she said, only 44 per cent of people who died from an allergic reaction to an insect sting got to a hospital.
"Perhaps it's because bees are so innocuous that most people don't really fear them in the same way they fear snakes," Dr Welton said in a statement.
"Without having a previous history of allergy, you might get bitten and although nothing happens the first time, you've still developed an allergic sensitivity."
Dr Welton said national guidelines for treatment of stings and bites was "inadequate" and needed to be updated.
It is difficult to compare deaths by venomous creatures with other animals in the same time frame of deaths analysed in the study.
But to get an idea, ABS figures for the 10 years between 2006 and 2015 show 21 people were killed because of dog bites and 52 others died when they were "bitten or struck" by other mammals.
According to the ABS figures, 27 people died in that period because of poisonous snakes or lizards, while hornets wasps or bees claimed the lives of 23 Australians.
Ten other people died after being bitten or struck by a non-venomous insect.
"From a public health perspective, we can't make informed decisions until we have a much clearer picture about what's going on," she said in the statement.